Kendrick Farris nearly breaks marks
LONDON -- United States weightlifter Kendrick Farris gave his performance a seven on a scale of one to 10. Almost certainly not enough for a medal, but he isn't going to let that ruin his Olympics.
Farris, the only male weightlifter from the U.S. competing in London, barely missed breaking his own American records in the clean and jerk and overall total Friday.
Farris, who competed in the 85 kilogram B group with lower-ranked lifters, cleared 155 kilograms in the snatch and 200 in the clean and jerk for a total of 355 that placed him third in his group.
With 12 lifters set to compete in the A group later Friday, it was highly unlikely Farris would get bronze.
"If it feels good, put it on a bar and give it an opportunity. We're all winners just to be here," Farris said.
Farris attempted 208 kilograms on his final clean and jerk, which would have shattered the American records of 203 and 362 total that he set in 2010. Farris cleaned the weight without issue. But when he jerked the bar over his head, he began wobbling and dropped it without registering a clean lift.
"Once I started going to the bottom, I knew I rushed the lift," Farris said. "It'd been nice to make all my lifts. That'd been beautiful. But man, it's OK."
Farris, from Shreveport, La., who studies mass communications and broadcast journalism at LSU-Shreveport, had more than a dozen friends and family make the journey to London to watch him perform.
His contingent included his mother, Monica Lockett, and his wife, Katrina, who cheered him on from the edge of their seats near the back of the ExCel arena.
"Real nervous. Can't believe we're here. But we are, so we're thankful also," Lockett said.
Katrina Farris said that in Shreveport, supporters of Farris were throwing parties to watch and cheer him on -- even though his event started at 4 a.m. local time.
"I wish I could be there," Kendrick Farris said. "That's crazy. I wish I could be there and watch myself compete. I think it'd be even better."
Farris said he's going stay in London through the closing ceremony Aug. 12 so he can soak in the entire Olympic experience and "connect with different people."
"That's what it's all about," he said. "We're coming together for sports."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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